Richard Klein named new Controller of BBC Four
Jana Bennett, Director of Vision, today announced that Richard Klein will be the new Controller of BBC Four. Richard is currently the BBC's Head of Independent Commissioning, Knowledge.
Jana Bennett says: "Richard is a bold thinker, capable of bringing a strong singular vision to the channel.
"He is able to reach out to the creative community, commissioning thought-provoking programmes, with an individuality of voice, wit and charm.
"Richard has been part of BBC Four's success from the very beginning and will ensure that the channel continues to cover a broad range of specialist subjects while taking it on to the next stage.
"Richard will be working closely with BBC Two to forge a more impactful partnership between the two channels."
Richard Klein says: "I'm thrilled and excited at the prospect of leading BBC Four, a channel with an extraordinary range of voices and a unique outlook on the world.
"It's daunting to be following in the footsteps of Janice, who has done a great job, but a rare privilege to have the opportunity to run such an intelligent, challenging and stimulating channel."
Richard Klein has been Head of Independent Commissioning, Knowledge since December 2007.
In this role he oversees all commissioning from independent production companies across Features, Arts, Music, Religion, Specialist Factual and Documentaries.
Richard joined the BBC in 1996 as a series producer and moved into commissioning to become a commissioning executive.
From there he became a senior commissioning executive and then the Commissioning Editor for Documentaries in March 2005.
Recent commissions include The White Season, Stephen Fry: The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive, Wonderland, Amazon and The Fallen for BBC Two; The Childhood Season, Bulgaria's Abandoned Children, National Trust and Travellers' Century for BBC Four; Mountain, Britain From Above and Heart Of Thomas Hardy for BBC One; Blood Sweat And T-shirts, Filthy Rich And Homeless and Mischief for BBC Four.
He has commissioned factual dramas for BBC Two including Man On Wire, Maxwell, The Thieving Headmistress, Sex, The City and Me.
Richard has also taken an innovative approach to multiplatform, with rich online offerings for Britain From Above, Amazon and The Long Way Down.
Richard has commissioned and executive produced a number of award-winning shows, including four BAFTAs for Best Documentary and Best Documentary Series (Orphans Of Nkandla, The Choir, Evicted and National Trust), six Royal Television Society Awards for Best Documentary, four Griersons, and three One World Awards.
Richard went to Aberdeen University where he gained an MA in English Literature. He then started working for local newspapers in London.
After three years in newspapers, he spent three years at London Weekend Television as researcher, reporter and then director on Weekend World, followed by Eyewitness.
He then worked as a director for a wide range of broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Romanian TV, directing feature-length, magazine shows, strands, documentaries and current affairs.
Richard takes over from Janice Hadlow, who took up the position of Controller, BBC Two earlier this month.
During Janice's tenure, BBC Four has grown reach and share and was this year named Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Channel Awards.
It has created cut through with high profile themed seasons which have transformed the impact of factual, drama has grown into one of the key treasures of the schedule and music programming has reached new heights of popularity.
Critical successes have included Lost Decade, Inside The Medieval Mind, Edwardians, Atom, Parallel Lives, Blood And Guts, Art Of Eternity, Art Of Spain, Genius Of Photography, California Dreaming, Folk Britannia, Vivaldi's Women, Fantabulosa, The Chatterley Affair, Fear Of Fanny, The Curse Of Comedy, The Long Walk To Finchley, The Thick Of It, Lead Balloon and Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe.
Richard is expected to start his new role before the end of the year.